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I have a 94 13-38 hxl, that i acquired from the lady who owned my house before me. Been an excellent tractor, but lately it seems the steering is getting real sloppy. the steering wheel moves a good bit before the front wheels turn, and the "tilt" mechanism seems to have alot of play. I spent some time checking online and stumbled on this forum.

I was wondering if anyone else here had the same problem and could point me in the right direction before i tear the front of this thing apart.

Is there anything in particular about this tractor that i should look out for? I have a little under a half acre of flat land, and this baby does the job perfectly.

thank you.
Adam
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Welcome to MTF Adam!

I doesn't seem to matter what type of LT's people own these days...Steering with models a few years old need the attention they deserve. I'm not familiar with your model (although I'm sure several of our members are), but most likely piolit bushings are usually the culprit and may need replacing.

I defer to the more knowledgable members who are familiar with your steering setup. Meanwhile, have a look around, do a search maybe, and check this thread often.

Mark
 

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Yeah, same problem on my '01 17-44. It is an easy fix.

1) remove deck
2) put tractor on ramps or otherwise lift it securely.

PART 1:
Check spacing between Steering rack teeth and pinion gear on steering shaft. This is adjustable via an eccentric washer located between the rack and the frame. You may need to remove the fuel tank to get to the bolt heads in order to back-wrench them. Clean up dirt and old lube and grease lightly.
One of the more asinine arrangements I have ever seen...nearly inaccessible!

PART 2:
1) disconnect drag link from steering spindle behind the l.f. wheel and from the steering rack and remove it.
2) Look at pin on steering rack you just removed...remove remnants of lousy paper-thin nylon bushing if any remain. Measure pin diameter...I think it is 5/16"
3) Go to hardware store or big-box and procure a 5/16 ID x 3/8" OD nylon bushing (or "spacer" as they call it). Also procure a nylon washer with an ID same as OD of bushing -- 3/8". Cut bushing to length so that it is slightly longer than the combined thickness of the drag link end plus the nylon flat washer.
4) Drill out end of drag link to 3/8".
5) Re-assemble the whole mess. First, put the bushing onto the pin on the rack. Then, install drag link, nylon washer and locknut. Drag link should be sandwiched between the rack and the washer. Put a film of grease on everything as you assemble it.
6) If you did it right, the drag link should be "snug" but not tight. If sloppy, sand down the bushing a bit. If too tight, cut another bushing to the right length. At Home Depot, they come 2 to a pack just to accomodate tractor freaks who make mistakes.

This eliminated about 80-90% of the play I had in the steering...the rest I chalk up to the poor quality of modern design and manufacture!

The whole project could take up to 2 hours depending on your skill, availability of tools, etc.

PS: I am going by memory but I am pretty sure bushing is 5/16" x 3/8". I did it 8 months ago. Be sure to measure before buying.
 
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